Some thoughts for Rosh Hashanah: If we took a vote on what trait we human beings most value, goodness would undoubtedly win. Certainly goodness is the trait that we most want everyone else to possess. But if we say we value goodness above everything else -- and surely Judaism does -- why aren't there more good people? A big reason is that it is easier to value other things -- including, and especially, positive things -- more than goodness. So it's much easier to be just about anything rather than good. It’s easier to be religious than to be good.
I love Los Angeles, but let's face facts: We're fast becoming a second-rate city. Public safety is broken. Jews in Los Angeles were rightly outraged in June when Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza killed one Israeli in Sderot. But in one weekend of that same month, 14 Angelenos were murdered in gang-related shootings.
As the public face and founding executive director of PJA, Sokatch, 40, has been lauded by the left and loathed by the right.
Progressives need to reach out to their natural allies in the Jewish community by acknowledging that the threats of nuclear proliferation and international terrorism exist and support the same reasoned, international approach of sanctions and international pressure that has helped bring the North Korean nuclear program under control.
The quest for a fair and sustainable settlement to conflict in the Mideast is indeed central, but the peace process is not the only challenge of Israel's continuing struggle for survival as the state its founders intended it to be. Important, too, are issues that define Israel as a society, as a homeland for Jews, as a democracy. In the long run these and related topics will contribute as much as military and diplomatic matters to answering the question of whether Israel will survive another 60 years.
Dr. Maher Hathout, like no other local Muslim leader in recent memory, has divided the Jewish community, exposing fissures between Jews who fervently believe in reviving the frayed Jewish-Muslim dialogue and those who have lost faith.
Tonight is a Yiddish service, Zol Zahn Shabbes -- literally, we should have Shabbat -- and it's happening at Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), founded in 1972 as the world's first synagogue for lesbian and gay Jews.
The World Union is the umbrella organization for 1,500 Reform, Reconstructionist, Liberal and Progressive congregations in 44 countries and, Regev estimated, touches the religious, educational and social lives of approximately 2 million Jews.